LEBANON, Mo. — A former Missouri Youth Group Leader who was charged with sex crimes against girls in his youth groups has pleaded guilty but has another trial scheduled for similar offenses in a different county.

Benjamin Blake pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual misconduct involving a child under 15 on Monday, May 2, 2022. He was also charged with molestation but only pleaded guilty to the misconduct charge. Blake’s sentencing in this case was scheduled for July 5. Those charges were filed in Laclede County.

Blake is facing similar charges in Webster County, two counts of sexual misconduct involving a child under 15. The trial for those charges is scheduled to begin on May 11.

Blake was a youth pastor for a Baptist church in Marshfield. Probable cause statements filed in connection with the case state that Blake developed relationships with the girls and communicated with them through online platforms, flirting and sending photos of his genitals and asking them to respond with explicit photos of themselves.